An historic moment in the story of Concorde 216, the last Concorde to fly
Filton, Bristol, May 26, 2016: Aerospace Bristol held a Ground Breaking Ceremony to mark the start of the construction of the new home of Concorde 216, the final Concorde to be built and the last Concorde to fly.
“That we should find a fitting home for Concorde here at Filton is a statement and testimony to the achievements of everyone involved in the development, the production and the support of Concorde, and to the citizens of Bristol who are so proud of our aeroplane,“ said Iain Gray, Chairman of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.
“Perhaps even more importantly, it is a symbol of what can be achieved and an inspiration for a new generation of engineers. The success of Concorde must be the inspiration for today’s youth to join our great industry and develop the new ideas of tomorrow.”
The ceremony began in listed hangar 16S that, in Summer 2017, will become the new Aerospace Bristol visitor attraction. Guests then witnessed the ground-breaking for the new Concorde hangar and a group aerial photograph was taken as attendees formed the shape of Concorde and marked its planned position in the new building.
The development of Aerospace Bristol and the construction of the new Concorde hangar has been made possible by the support of Founding Partners BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, South Gloucestershire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In addition, the project has attracted support from Bristol City Council, the LEP Local Growth Fund, the Libor Fines Fund, as well as GKN, Renishaw, the Medlock Charitable Trustand John James Foundation. Fundraising is not yet complete – with a further £2m required to finalise the project.
Please read on to see the messages of support for our project;
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West:
“It’s great to see work getting underway at Aerospace Bristol. British aviation was born and bred at Filton Airfield and, thanks to National Lottery players, the site will now become a centre of excellence where the industry’s heritage can be truly celebrated. It’s an exciting day for Bristol and for everyone who is proud of and passionate about the contribution this area made to developments in air travel. We can’t wait to visit when all the works are complete.”
Jack Lopresti MP for Filton:
"Since my election as local Member of Parliament in 2010, I have been honoured and proud to have played a part in bringing this great project to fruition. It is very important to pay tribute and to highlight the impact Filton has had historically on the global aerospace industry. But more vital is inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists in the STEM learning centre which is part of this project so we can maintain the UKs place in the world aerospace industry, protect and improve our sovereign manufacturing capability and to increase further social mobility. "
Cllr Erica Williams, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council:
“We are delighted to be one of the founding partners that contributed towards finding a permanent home for Concorde at its birthplace in Filton.” “The museum will be a popular attraction with visitors from South Gloucestershire, the UK and across the globe all eager to catch a glimpse of this iconic aircraft. As well as preserving Concorde for future generations to enjoy, Aerospace Bristol will bring many economic benefits to the region and help to inspire the next generation of aircraft engineers."
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol:
“Bristol has an outstanding reputation as a world leader when it comes to innovation, not least in the field of aerospace. One of my priorities as mayor is to recognise the complex legacies that have created Bristol as we know it today, and to encourage education and understanding around the way our past shapes our present. Promoting pride in Bristol’s scientific and technological achievements is a key part this approach and I’m proud that as a city we can support Aerospace Bristol to build a new home for Concorde.”
Mark Stewart, Airbus UK General Manager and HR Director:
“Airbus is a long term supporter of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust and we have been the custodians of Concorde since its last landing in 2003. We have taken care of this iconic aircraft - it is possibly the finest symbol of our aerospace heritage in Filton and Bristol - and it is great that it will continue to be loved and cared for by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust and in doing so inspire future generations.”
Paul Craig, President Defence Services, Rolls-Royce, Filton:
“At the heart of the Aerospace Bristol will be the iconic Concorde. The ground breaking for the new Concorde building, is another significant milestone in this exciting programme which is now accelerating towards its opening in 2017. Rolls-Royce continues to be a proud patron of this significant collection of technology and innovation, which will I am sure enthuse a new generation of engineers.”
Steve Fogg, Managing Director – Shared Services, BAE Systems said:
“We’re delighted and proud to support Aerospace Bristol in its creation of a permanent home to celebrate the history of Concorde. In addition to our sponsorship and the leasing of 8 acres of land to the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, our expert Real Estate Solutions team has supported the Trust throughout the planning phase and continues to work closely with them on the coordination of the site development plans. Today’s ground breaking ceremony marks the start of a new chapter for Concorde and we hope that, once complete, the new heritage centre will inspire future generations.”
Ben Taylor, Chief Executive, Renishaw:
“Renishaw is proud to be a part of Bristol’s aerospace history, but just as importantly we’re proud to be a partner of a Centre that will contribute to its future success.”
John Pritchard, CEO, Aerostructures Europe, GKN:
“Aerospace Bristol will be a unique project, not only to celebrate our history, but more importantly, to inspire and encourage the next generation of engineering talent, through the investment in learning and skills development, helping to sustain the South West’s world-class aerospace industry.’
David Snell, Operations Director, Kier Construction:
“We are thrilled to celebrate the start of construction of the new Aerospace Bristol. This prestigious scheme is of great historic interest and will be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations, and I am extremely proud that Kier will be delivering the project.”
Peter Morris, Managing Partner, Burges Salmon:
“We are pleased to have been the Official Legal Services Partner to the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, providing advice to help it get to the stage where construction can now begin. This is an exciting project and Aerospace Bristol will contribute significantly not only to the educational and cultural life of Bristol but will also attract national and international interest, given Concorde’s iconic status and global appeal.”